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tv   CNN Newsroom With John Berman and Poppy Harlow  CNN  May 21, 2018 7:00am-8:00am PDT

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explosions that we're hearing, again you can hear the explosions there, incredibly loud, the explosions we're seeing at the summit of kilauea have lessened, become less frequent and smaller in recent days. there is one just about three hours ago that was quite small relatively. that may be good news for this time being, but it may also mean that a much bigger explosion could be coming. >> scott mclean, i assure you nothing about that looks or sounds benign. please be careful out there and we do thank you for bringing us that report. thank you, scott. all right, good morning, everyone. i'm john berman. president trump is headed to the cia very shortly. this is the first time he's been there since the day after the inauguration. looking at live pictures. remember that time when he railed against reporters and bragged about his inauguration crowd size, all before the cia memorial wall. this morning he's there for the swearing in of gina haspel to be the new cia director.
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the question is, will he address his new demand for the justice department to investigate the investigation into him. he promised that today. he would officially demand, he said i hereby demand that the justice department investigate whether his campaign was infiltrated or surveilled for political purposes and if any such demands or requests were made by people within the obama administration. our kaitlan collins live for us at the white house with the very latest. >> here the president is making good on that threat he may have to get involved with the justice department. this tweet, this demand came in a series of tweets where the president was venting about his political enemies, the department of justice and so forth, but what was different about this one, what made this one stand out is that it wasn't just the president airing his political grievances online. he went a step further instructing the department of justice essentially to do his bidding here, to find out if the department of justice or the fbi surveilled his campaign at the behest of the obama
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administration. and the department of justice, john, responded rather quickly to the president saying they were going to respond an on going probe into the surveillance of the former trump campaign aide carter page with the deputy attorney general saying if anybody did infiltrate or surveil participants in a presidential campaign for inappropriate purposes, we need to know about it and take appropriate action. rosenstein seems to be threading the needle here with the president and it is unclear if this is going to be enough to satisfy president trump because we haven't heard from him yet on this today. of course, we could hear from him from this as he heads to langley for the first time since that speech he gave at the cia headquarters after he was first inaugurated, a speech that was widely criticized as you'll recall because the president was standing in front of the cia memorial wall, a speech where typically not very political speeches, they thank the cia officers for their sacrifice to the country, instead it was a campaign style speech from the president where he was going
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after the media, talking about these exaggerated crowd numbers at his inauguration. he has not been back since then. he's going to return there today and we have to note that the president -- on the president's twitter feed, he's criticizing the former cia director john brennan. the president is tweeting as he's about to leave the white house to go swear in the new cia director gina haspel. it is just an irony, john, you can't ignore here. >> watching that very, very closely throughout the morning, kaitlan collins at the white house, thank you very much. to our cnn justice reporter laura jarrett to get a sense of what the deputy attorney general has promised to happen. >> well, john, it was not a quiet sunday for top justice department officials, jumping into action just less than four hours after the president called for an investigation via tweet. this issue actually dates back months ago, with republicans in the house and senate, calling
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for an investigation into how the fbi and the justice department went about monitoring former trump campaign aide carter page. and they wanted to look into whether the justice department properly obtained those warrants for surveillance under the foreign intelligence surveillance act, saying they weren't fully transparent about how in fact all of it was paid for. the inspector general announced back in march he was actually going to look into how those surveillance warrants were obtained, but he was also going to look into how exactly the fbi used christopher seal who put together the infamous dossier on trump and russia. but the big question is how the president is going to react to the deputy attorney general tapping the inspector general to look at this. you'll remember back in late february when sessions tapped horowitz to look at the fisa abuse amid calls from capitol
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hill, the president actually lashed out, again on twitter, calling the inspector general an obama guy, even though he has served under multiple republican and democratic administrations also, saying he has no prosecutorial power and his reports have been late, referring to a report on former fbi director james comey. so no word from the president yet reacting to the justice department's move here, but, of course, the day is still young, john. >> will the inspector general be enough, that is a huge question. laura jarrett, thanks so much. joining me now, cnn national security analyst juliette kayyem and daniel goldman. i want to start with you here, the constitution does seem to give the president executive authority over the executive branch and the department of justice in there. there may not be a strict legal issue here. what is the normative issue here? what is the potential problem with the president ordering an investigation into an investigation of him? >> there are a couple of problems. you're right, technically he has the constitutional power, but
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for the last 40 plus years, really since watergate, there has been a pretty clear divide between the political arm of the executive and the department of justice. and that was intentional in order to keep them separate and to maintain the apolitical nature of the department of justice. so he's defying those norms that we have come to expect. >> to be clear, these are not small norms. >> absolutely. absolutely. this is then taking it to another level, which is not just to say i order you to do an investigation. this is to say, i order you to do an investigation into an investigation of me. so he's using now his political bully pulpit and his position as the executive of our country and ordering an investigation into an on going investigation into himself. so in many respects he's using his position for personal reasons, in part you have to
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believe that because if there were a political purpose for this investigation into russian meddling, one would think it would have come out before the election and had a political impact. of course, as -- nothing came out, so this is not a, oh, we need to look into it kind of thing. we know there was nothing public about that investigation, so this seems to be a first step down a very dangerous path. >> so, juliette, as you look at the accusations being hurld arou hurled around by the president, somewhat casually by rudy giuliani, allies of the president inside congress and on other cable news outlets here, do they raise any legitimate questions? is there a scintilla of evidence that there was any kind of infiltration for political purposes? >> no, there's not. but that is not the point. i mean, in other words, having failed so miserably i think in trying to stop this investigation and trying to narrow it and hoping that it
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would just go away, all that is really left for donald trump, rudy giuliani and their proxies is to basically now hurl mud at the investigators. and i think that's exactly what they're doing. we have to take everything they're saying, in particular rudy giuliani with a grain of salt. what they're trying to do is set the conditions not of the substance of what is going on, because the substance is looking pretty bad for the president right now, but at least on process. so i agree that i think this is a -- was a very disturbing move by the president in terms of sort of directing the department of justice. i'd like the department of justice's response. it was, okay, we'll put it to the ig. like giving candy it a toddler to get them to be quiet for a little bit. and we'll just continue these salvos until mueller is done with the investigation or until there is more indictments and we get more information. >> so do you see it as giving candy to a toddler here or do you see rod rosenstein to some extent validating the question by saying that the inspector general will look into this.
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does it validate the questions into possible impropriety? >> i think rod rosenstein is trying to deflate the issue a little bit, trying to kill the president with kindness, you're going to do this and this may be inappropriate, but i'm not going to confront you about this now. i have bigger fish to fry. i think what he's doing is he's trying to build capital with a significant part of the country that believes this investigation is a witch-hunt, et cetera. and he's recognizing this is not the issue i want to go to the mat on. so i'm going to roll this into an already existing investigation. i'm going to do what we should do. the ig does do the initial investigation into any misconduct by the fbi or the department of justice. this is the proper protocol and most likely nothing will come from it, but i've at least placated the president. the risk as you point out, john, is that this is just the first of many of these requests and if the president thinks that he can
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get what he wants or at least something close to what he wants, he has shown and demonstrated a willingness to push the envelope further and further. >> also don't have an investigation unless there is any evidence of impropriety here and it is unclear if there is any evidence of impropriety here, yet the inspector general will look into it. what is a confidential source? we're talking about here, we're not talking about the identity, cnn has not reported the identity, others have, of this person, this confidential source who had meetings with carter page and george papadopoulos. what is that type of person that does it and what does it mean to have that identity revealed, which it has been in other places. >> that type of person may be just someone who as being told by the fbi or learning about, you know, possibly very illegal conduct by the trump campaign with the foreign government would be willing to assist the fbi in terms of assessing the information about what is going on with the trump campaign. so his motivation is less significant than what motivated
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trump and giuliani and their camp which is exposing the identity of this person. it doesn't just have to do with this informant, though he's relevant, and most people who look a little hard and on the web may figure out who he is, it actually has to do with the ability of the fbi to ensure other informants in whatever cases, think about myspace, in terms of counterterrorism and national security, whatever it is to assure them that their identity will be protected. that is going to be harder. i just find it so ironic that when this is happening, and this sort of outrageous behavior about outing an informant during an investigation, that the president is going to the cia today, the very agency that is absolutely dependent on informants and people telling secrets to be able to protect the united states. i guess ironic may be the wrong word. it is a little bit scary what they're doing right now. >> juliette kayyem, daniel gold, thank you for being with us. still to come, a second trump tower meeting under
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scrutiny. donald trump jr. reportedly met with a gulf emissary who was trying to help the campaign months before the election. and state wide moment of silence. texas will honor the ten lives lost during the shooting at the high school in santa fe. new developments into the investigation. and the president set to speak for the first time since he says i hereby demand the department of justice investigate the investigation into me. will he address this issue live? stay with us. you don't always use your smartphone to like something. here we are! how is it? perfect! who's this? you don't always use it to share something. he's doing it! but when it matters most, you count on tracfone to keep you connected, for less. can you send that to me? yeah. our smartphone plan gives you talk, text and data with unlimited carryover for just $15 a month, no contract.
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we're watching the cia. there is the cia headquarters in langley. president trump set to arrive there very, very shortly to attend the swearing in of gina haspel as cia director. we're waiting to see if the president chooses to bring up what he's been talking about for the last 24 hours.
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his demand that the department of justice investigate the investigation into him. joining me now, cnn political commentator scott jennings and patty solis doyle. i hereby demand, scott, i know you missed the royal wedding coaching baseball over the weekend, that's the type of thing we might have heard at a royal event, i hereby demand that the department of justice investigate the investigation. do you think there is a need for that investigation, scott? >> yes, i do. and here's why. because at the conclusion of the special counsel investigation all americans, all democrats, all republicans need to accept the results and in order for them to accept the results, no matter how it goes, there cannot be any questions left about possible political motivations inside the department of justice or inside this investigation. there have been some troubling materials put out there, the text messages between strzic and
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page. there are relevant questions about politics that must be answered for the purpose of giving americans confidence that the investigation was handled fully and impartially, no matter how it concludes. >> are there questions about this confidential source, his discussions apparently with carter page and george papadopoulos, who by the way, the whole investigation was launched because he was bragging that the russians had e-mails from hillary clinton. >> right, look, i think the president needs to recuse himself from the mueller investigation given that the mueller investigation is investigating the president. bottom line. end of story. i think there is no evidence that this informant was spying on the trump campaign as the president claims. they were under investigation in terms of russia trying to affect
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our elections and that's why he was sent in to talk to members of the trump campaign. so bottom line is the president is undermining the investigation by attacking the investigation, by attacking the investigators, and it is all being done for political purposes. we see this in the sort of frenzied, unnerved tweets over the weekend and this morning that the president is now turning from a legal strategy to a political strategy, trying to save this presidency. >> scott, is it working? that's the question. is the political strategy working? >> well, i think that the american people want two things. number one, i think they are wanting a conclusion to this investigation because fundamentally they want to know, did the russians try to meddle in our election, how deep does that go and are they still doing it? how do we protect our democracy? number two, if you look at the polling, yes, there is some skepticism about what is going on in this investigation and it is principally because the president raised, i think, and
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his supporters in congress, some legitimate concerns. if i were the doj, the special counsel mueller, i would want to get questions investigated and answered because when i come up with a conclusion, i don't want half the country thinking well, that conclusion is biased. i think there are legit questions that have to get answered so people have confidence. >> the questions are largely being asked by the president and people loyal to him. it is not as if there are people looking at the objective, you know, fact pattern here and saying, my gosh, this raises a ton of questions. i get your point. scott, while i have you, i'll come back to you, patti, in one second, the second donald jump jr. meeting that happened with george nader, expert in the middle east, where george nader goes in and says, hey, the gulf princes want to help your campaign. any problem here, scott? >> well, certainly questions have to be answered about these contacts. frankly, i think you had foreign governments, foreign operators that saw a presidential campaign that didn't have a lot of experience at this level of american politics. and they tried to reach out and
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take advantage of it. that doesn't mean necessarily anything nefarious happened. but if we're going to be in the business of investigating investigations and having full transparency and something like this deserves to be questioned as well so that we know what kind of contacts happened and what was the result of that. i don't think any american wants foreign meddling of any kind in our elections. we need a clear resolution to all of these questions about any foreign government intervention in the presidential campaign. >> scott jennings with a consistent call for an investigations across the board here, completely. patti, if i can, hillary clinton, for whom you worked for and ran her campaign in 2008, she was speaking over the weekend at a commencement exercise, and she made a joke which one does during commencement speeches but i want you to watch this. >> now, i see looking out at you that you are following the tradition of over the top hats. so i brought a hat too.
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a russian hat. but, i mean, if you can't beat them, join them. >> is this successful trolling, patti? >> you know, look, i think she enjoys getting under the president's skin. and why not? frankly, i think it is all -- it was in good fun. she was at yale. where she graduated from for law school. but i don't think it really has any impact on anything we're discussing and certainly no impact on the investigation. >> no investigation into the hat -- >> in terms of the meetings with saudi arabia, with donald trump jr., i've been involved in five presidential campaigns. i ran one of them. never, ever, not once, has a foreign government tried to meet with me to help me win an election. never, ever, ever. and if they ever had, i would
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have called my lawyers immediately. >> scott, would you have called lawyers immediately? >> oh, sure. these kinds of contacts were highly unusual. it is true that foreign governments do have diplomatic staff that routinely reach out to presidential campaigns, to try to create relationships before the election, that does happen. but these contacts were at a high level and being done with people that didn't have a lot of experience, which is why they deserve to be questioned and investigated. i'm not saying anything nefarious happened. but at the end of the day, americans want americans deciding who won the presidential election and any other election for that matter. i think transparency and answering questions is a good idea across the board here. >> scott, patti solis doyle, thank you for being with us, appreciate it. new information about the 25 minute gun battle between police and the texas high school shooter. next, why a mother says her daughter stood up to the suspect and was targeted by him.
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also unclear is motive at this point. but i did talk to one mother, who says she knows why her daughter was targeted. her daughter, shania fisher, she says, was the love interest of this alleged shooter and for four months he harassed her, trying to date her, and she finally had enough. last week the mom told me she stood up in the middle of class and evidently humiliated the gunnen in gu gunman in front of his classmates. >> my daughter was going up to my mother, telling my mom for the past four months and my brother that he had been making advances on her and that she finally stood up to him because her younger sister was being bullied in school and she was showing her, look, this is what you do, you got to stand up to him and tell him, no, it is not right. and this is the outcome. >> first of those victims was laid to rest over the weekend.
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we expect more funerals to happen in the coming days. also, again, john, we're expecting that moment of silence to happen in the next 30 minutes or so. john? >> we'll go back live had that does take place. nick valencia in santa fe, thank you very much. the numbers we want to show you now, the number of high school shootings in the united states as compared to more than a dozen other countries around the world since january 1st, 2009. at least 288 shootings in the u.s. alone. the rest of the world combined, the rest of the world combined, 27. this just in to cnn, supreme court backs employers and the trump administration saying employers can stop workers from coming together as a class action group when fighting legal disputes during employment arbitration agreements. neil gorsuch siding with the conservative majority. rouge ba this say big victory, one
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foreseen, but a big victory for employers over labor. secretary of state mike pompeo promising the new tough sanctions, promising new tough sanctions on iran if the country does not change course. in fact, he's promising the tough sanctions in history. much more on that ahead. moments away from the president speaking at the cia. this is for the swearing in of gina haspel as the new cia director. will he address his latest demand that the department of justice investigate the investigation into him?
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hey, welcome back. this guy, right? (laughs) yes. ellen. that's my robe. you could save $782 when liberty stands with you. liberty mutual insurance. all right, just moments ago, the secretary of state mike pompeo outlined the administration's plan b for iran. want to bring in our senior diplomatic correspondent, mike kosins kosinski. this is the first major policy address as secretary of state and he sort of laid down a new line here, michelle. >> he made this very clear. it was certainly tough. he used words like crush multiple times as in the sanctions that he is proposing
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would crush iran, that the u.s. would track down iranian operatives and their proxies around the world and the u.s. will crush them. he laid out 12 things this iran needs to do in order to not face u.s. sanctions and sanctions from others around the world that the u.s. is trying to gather into this new coalition. listen to part of what he said. >> these will indeed end up being the strongest sanctions in history when we are complete. after our sanctions come in force, it will be battling to keep its economy alive. iran will be forced to make a choice. either fight to keep its economy off life support at home or keep squandering precious wealth and fights abroad. it will not have the resources to do both. >> now, this was a good speech for his first speech. he laid everything out there, clearly, it was tough, it was very direct. at times speaking directly to the iranian people. the problem with this, though,
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is, of course, sanctions are only really effective when others are on board. now you have europe collectively saying, well, wait a minute, we want to stick with the original iran deal, we're going to protect companies as much as possible from sanctions. we're going to help iran's central bank so that it will stay with us in the original iran deal. also russia and china are going to continue to trade with iran. there is going to be oil flowing. so europe is saying, the u.s. sanctions might sound tough, but they might not really work in the end because they're not going to be as tough as the u.s. wants them to be. others are committed to trading with iran and committed to thinking that the original iran deal will work well. they say, yes, they also agree that iran has all this other terrible behavior it has been doing for some time, but they feel like you can address that in other ways outside of the original iran deal, john. >> michelle kosinski for us,
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thank you. joining us to discuss this, john kirby, diplomatic analyst. thank you for being with us. the big question here is the secretary of state is talking tough on iran. that's expected. the real question that michelle alluded to this, how tough will they be on europe? will the united states impose sanctions on european countries if they continue to trade? >> great question, john. we don't know the answer to that. we also don't know the answer to the other question, how tough will russia get on the u.s. in return for sanctions that the u.s. may levy against european banks, institutions, or corporations. it is going to increasingly make our relationship with the eu and with our european partners that much more tense. it is funny, we describe this as a plan b, i think if that's their plan b, i think they need to start working on plan c right away. it won't have the effect they want.
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this just further isolates us from the rest of the world because the rest of the world, particularly our european partners, want to keep the deal in place. and i suspect that the iranians will take a look at the 12 things and pretty much laugh them off. i don't think they're going to be intimidated by the u.s. threatening more sanctions and telling them what to do. they are a bad actor, i'm not apologist for iran, they do a lot of bad things, but it would have been easier, nuclear weapons are taken off the table. >> do you see iran attempting to enrich uranium anytime soon? >> i don't have access to the intelligence anymore. i don't know. do i think it is possible? i don't think so, not right now. i think the hard-liners, this is a great irony of the trump administration approach, they're doing exactly what the hard-liners would like them to do. the hard-liners hate the deal. i think the moderate go of rouhani and foreign minister czarriv i
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zarif, if i was guessing, i would say no, i don't think they're going to start enriching to a higher grade anytime soon. >> if i can shift gears to north korea, not unconnected to this, the "new york times," david sang we are a terrific report saying the president is having some trepidation now about his pending meeting with kim jong-un. nervous about some of the strange things that kim has been saying over the last week, asking the south koreans what's going on here. do you think that this trepidation is merited? >> i do. and i'm glad to see it. i'm really glad to see it. people were worried he was rushing into this head long, wasn't thinking about it. i know david wrote about the fact he's not really taking his briefings all that seriously, but, yes, i think he has reason to be. maybe he's now going to apply a little bit more thought, more thoughtful approach to sitting down and having this discussion with kim jong-un. i think it is important and this i give the president credit for, to go into this with relatively low expectations, we're not
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going to count they are deal with denuclearization and peace in our time. we may come out with a sense of a framework for going ahead and having dialogue in the future to build the kind of bilateral relationships that will be required to put something in place that can last. it is not going to happen anytime soon. i think we're talking years and years but i think his trepidation is well placed. >> do you think kim moved the goal post by suggesting you should not expect us to fully denuclearize here as conditions for any agreement? >> no. i think it is foolish for think he did. we have should have known this all along. there was no way these guys were going to give up the nukes in one sit down with the president of the united states. it is the fact they have capabilities that are bringing them to the table. it is not just the pressure campaign. it is president moon and kim jong-un, the understanding they have this capability that is going to make them credible at the table. so, no, i don't see that -- i don't see that happening. >> one man who is very nervous
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is president moon of south korea, he'll be meeting with president trump this week, still wants this meeting very much to go forward. he has a lot riding on it just as president trump does. great to have you with us. thanks so much. happening now, the swearing in ceremony for gina haspel. president trump will speak at any moment. we'll bring you live coverage. this is a story about mail and packages.
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all right, you're looking at live pictures from langly, cia headquarters now. this is the swearing in of gina haspel. you see her standing there. she's with the former cia director mike pompeo, also the
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vice president and the president of the united states, who will very shortly we'll be hearing from the president of the united states. let's go to jeremy diamond while we're waiting for the ceremony to begin. jeremy? >> reporter: well, this is the president is now arrived at the cia as you can see there for the swearing in ceremony for gina haspel, set to become the first woman to lead the cia in the agency's entire history. so pretty historic moment today with that ceremony. it is also important to note the kind of context around the president's visit to the cia. this is the first time he will be there since his speech at the cia early last year when the president delivered that controversial speech in front of that wall of stars honoring fallen cia officers and the president then, you'll recall, let's listen in here. ♪
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♪ what so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming? ♪ ♪ whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight ♪ ♪ o'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming? ♪ ♪ and the rockets' red glare the bombs bursting in air ♪ ♪ gave proof through the night that our flag was still there ♪ ♪ oh, say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave ♪
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♪ o'er the land of the free ♪ ♪ and the home of the brave? ♪ >> i invite you to join with me in prayer. let us pray. gracious god, we ask that you bless this ceremony and through it the trust of our nation in this agency to be vigilant in its defense of our citizens and our freedoms. our director, gina haspel, has the confidence of our nation's leaders because of her proven
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abilities and record as selfless service and the loyalty of our agency since she led from the front, taken the hard jobs, and come from the ranks. she is ready to assume the mantle of leading this team, which though most of the reactions remain unknown to those whom they protect, the results of their deeds ensure our freedoms remain secure during their watch. she is equipped to humbly acknowledge her limitations and share she did not arrive at this moment without the help, love and support of many, beginning with her parents and continuing throughout her career, those who contributed to her development just as she has given to so many others in like manner. help her to continue to learn and grow with courage to make decisions under pressure. and the fortitude to discharge the constitute y duties of her integrity and honor.
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help her to provide clear and honest advice with candor to our nation's leaders, and in dark nights surround her with confidants who can ease the burden she must bear when making decisions that she alone must make. so that she is not overwhelmed or fall prey to the loneliness that affects other leaders in such high positions of trust. finally, lord, grant that she may have joy and celebrating the victories of this team, which she now leads and faithfully guards our nation, ever free as a beacon to others around the world. amen. >> ladies and gentlemen, we are immensely honored to have president trump at the cia once again. please join me in welcoming the president of the united states.
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[ applause ] >> thank you. >> well, thank you very much. and good morning. i want to thank all of you and our distinguished guests for joining us today for a ceremony like few will ever have again. this is a very special one. including vice president pence, secretary pompeo, secretary mnuchin, secretary chao, secretary perry, secretary nielsen, director coats and my nominee for the va secretary, who will do a fantastic job, robert wilkie. thank you very much. i want to give a special thank you for being here to chairman and senator richard burr, thank you very much, richard. and a very courageous man, courageous, congressman devin
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nunes. thank you very much, devin, for being here, appreciate it. most especially i want to thank you, the dedicated men and women of the central intelligence agency. it is a true honor to stand here today before the most elite intelligence professionals on the planet earth. nobody even close. you faced down our enemies, you protect our families, you stand and watch over our great nation. you don't do it for fame or fortune or glory. you do it for your country. america is forever grateful. thank you very much. we're here today for the swearing in of a very special person, your new cia director, someone who has served this agency with extraordinary skill and devotion for 30 years. gina haspel.
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gina, congratulations. there is no one in this country better qualified for this extraordinary office than you. by the way if you don't agree with that, please let me know now before it is too late. immediately. have to do it quickly. you live in the cia, you live the cia, you breathe the cia. and now you will lead the cia. congratulations. [ applause ] okay. that means we're keeping her, right? that was -- that's what we're
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waiting for. they love you. they respect you. they respect you too. a native of ashland, kentucky, gina's father served in the u.s. air force. she spent much of her childhood overseas. from a young age, she was instilled with a deep love of our country, which combined with a thirst for adventure. that led her to the cia. throughout her storied career, this agency, gina has truly done it all. she's completed seven field tours, served as a case officer, recruited assets, run stations, captured terrorists, and disrupted networks that proliferate deadly weapons. they send those weapons all over and you catch them. you're going to get even better now. better than ever before. you're the best, you're going to be better than ever before and we're getting you the resources
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to do it. our enemies will take note. gina is tough. she is strong. and when it comes to defending america, gina will never, ever back down. i know her. spent a lot of time with gina. gina played a crucial role in our fight against al qaeda. her first day on the job at the cia's counterterrorism center was september 11th, 2001. she tirelessly hunted terrorists for the next three years. she went on to become deputy director of the national clandestine service and most recently deputy director of the cia. during her decades of distinguished service, gina has earned the george h.w. bush award for excellence in counterterrorism, and the intelligence medal of merit. most importantly she has earned
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the universal respect, admiration and trust of her colleagues here at the cia, throughout the government and all over the world, gina is truly respected. and today we also mark another proud milestone as gina becomes the first woman ever to lead the cia. [ applause ] that's big. now, gina will lead this agency into its next great chapter. gina assumed the role of director at a crucial moment in our history. we are reasserting american strength and american
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confidence. and, by the way, america is respected again. you see that. instead of apologizing for our nation, we are standing up for our nation and we are standing up for the men and women who protect our nation. we will be counting on you to confront a wide array of threats we face, and to help usher in a new era of prosperity and of peace. since the cia's founding more than 70 years ago, its courageous operatives have combined ancient craft with modern marvels to achieve unsung victories in every corner of the globe. i see what you do. i understand what you do. and it is incredible. marked on the hallowed walls of this building are the stars honoring the cia's fallen heroes who gave their last breath for
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our nation. though many of their names remain secret, their stories of service and sacrifice and daring will live for all time. today we think of them and we honor them by pledging that the patriots of the cia will have the tools, the resources, and the support they need to accomplish their incredible, complicated and oftentimes very dangerous mission. the exceptional men and women of this agency deserve exceptional leadership and in gina haspel, that is exactly what you're getting. director haspel, congratulations, again. i know that you will thrive as the agency's director and help keep our nation safe and strong and proud and free.
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good luck. god bless you. and god bless the men and women of the cia. god bless america. and i just want to thank everybody in this room for doing such an incredible job and for giving gina that unbelievable support that she needed. it took courage for her to say yes, in the face of a lot of very negative politics and what was supposed to be a negative vote, but i'll tell you, when you testified before the committee, it was over. there was not much they could say. there was nobody more qualified than you and you are going to do a fantastic job, gina. thank you very much. thank you.

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